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Home Secretary Cracks down on Foreign Students

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Speaking at the Conservative conference, Home Secretary Amber Rudd is to launch a consultation this year looking at how to restrict the number of non-EU students coming to the UK.

According to Ms Rudd the current system too often "treated every student and university as equal" and insufficient consideration is given to the contribution they could make to the UK versus the obligations they place on the state.

She continued saying: "Foreign students, even those studying English Language degrees, don't even have to be proficient in speaking English. We need to look at whether this generous offer for all universities is really adding value to our economy. This isn't about pulling up the drawbridge. It's about making sure students that come here, come to study".

As a result, the Home Secretary is looking to introduce different tests for applicants to different universities and colleges.

It's anticipated this could cut the number of students taking shorter courses or attending post-1992 universities that offer more accessible degree courses, which could in turn impact their viability as international students account for a third of university revenue. It's also argued that the latest proposals undermine the impact that universities have at a local level.

There has also been criticism placed on the government for basing student immigration policy on contested evidence about how many students actually stay in the country after they have completed their course of study.

Last year, just 11,100 people who previously held study visas were granted extensions to remain in the UK in a category other than student. However, the government uses figures provided by the International Passenger Survey, which indicates as many as 100,000 international students might stay on.

It's been argued that government policy should be based on more robust evidence, particularly when it promotes and anti-migrant atmosphere.